178 posts categorized

October 05, 2015

Mobeam Promises to Be a Comprehensive Mobile Wallet


Mobile shopping has made great strides in the last year, thanks to technology that allows smartphone users to scan in-app barcodes for food, tickets, merchandise, and more. Shopping is already convenient, but is there an even smarter way to shop? Mobeam thinks so. 

Mobeam, a mobile barcode beaming technology provider for Android, has partnered with Mobiquity Network to deliver a comprehensive mobile wallet solution. Mobiquity Network, a subsidiary of Mobiquity Technologies Inc. is a location-based advertising and app engagement software provider that should prove a useful ally for Mobeam. 

Mobeam will integrate Mobiquity Networks’ ad platform and software into its Beep’nGo app, which will enable the company to deliver highly targeted barcode-scanable offers to smartphone-holding shoppers. These shoppers can redeem target discount and coupon offers at in-store checkouts via scanable barcodes on their phones.

The partnership gives Mobeam the potential to reach 260 million monthly shoppers who already use Mobiquity’s network. Mobeam’s Beep’nGo app will now be able to detect Mobiquity Networks’ beacons, which are currently placed in high-traffic mall areas like food courts, walkways, and corridors.


Creating True Mobile Wallets

George Garrick, Mobeam’s CEO, says integrating Mobiquity Network’s ad and software technology with Mobeam's offerings creates a true mobile wallet for smartphone users. 

“Our goal is to make the shopping experience for consumers as easy as possible using mobile technology which enables true digital wallets, not simply digital credit card alternatives,” said Garrick. 

Mobeam chose to work with Mobiquity Networks because Mobiquity powers the biggest shopping mall-based beacon advertising network in the United States. Mobiquity Networks is known for providing proximity marketing in a way that enhances the user’s experience.

Garrick continues, “By joining Mobiquity Networks’ publisher network, we can improve the shopping experience even more by enabling shoppers to redeem their Mobiquity offers by simply beaming them into the checkout scanner.” He explained, “We complete the ‘last mile’ of capturing valuable targeted retail deals and enabling the shopper to easily transmit those savings into the checkout POS for an instant redemption.”


How Does It Work?

Garrick states that Mobeam “will integrate Mobiquity Networks’ software into its popular Beep’nGo app, enabling it to deliver smarter and more convenient ways to pay and save while shopping.” He adds, “Popular and emerging ‘mobile payment’ apps rely on NFC or other technologies that communicate with credit card payment terminals, but not with scanners.”

Mobeam’s barcode technology enables true mobile wallets, not just NFC-based card substitutes. This means that Beep’nGo users will now be able to carry membership cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, vouchers, coupons, tickets, and more in one app, offering universal POS access at retailers. And, they’ll get targeted discounts delivered to this app, which provides more opportunity for saving money at stores where they shop most.

The integrated technology solution will deliver highly impactful offers to users’ smartphones, at the moment they’re looking for deals.

Mobeam’s patented light-based beaming technology excels at overriding technical barriers and enables POS red laser scanners to read barcodes on Android mobile devices. Mobiquity Networks is a national leader in location-based mobile advertising and application engagement software.

September 29, 2015

Delete Message, Restore Space: How to Recover Lost SMS Messages


Trashing old text messages on is a good way to improve your phone's performance. Large apps can take up a surprising amount of space on the hard drive. But did you know that SMS conversations can take up us much space? More, even, if there are pictures and video attached. Deleting text messages is easy, and should be done regularly to keep your phone running at optimal smoothness.

Understandably, many of us are reluctant to delete messages. We feel we may need the information in the future. Luckily, there are ways to recover deleted messages. Three of them:


The iTunes Method

The simplest way to recover old messages is to perform regular backups to iTunes. Deleted SMS messages can be recalled simply by plugging your device in to a computer. 

Once connected to iTunes, click the phone icon in the upper left corner of the screen; choose ‘Restore Backup,’ and hey presto - all previously backed-up settings, text messages and apps will replace the current data on your phone. It takes a few minutes. 

Of course, this method can only replace data from your most recent backup. The iTunes Method can't recover data from previous backups.


The iCloud Method

The iCloud is a solid option for retrieving lost text messages, as long as your service area is within a territory that backs up SMS messages automatically. To check if this is the case, read on...

Log in to iCloud using your Apple ID/password. Check if "Text Messages” is available. If not, you're not covered. If it is, you can start searching through old SMS messages to find what you're after. 

To do this, search through the messages and locate the text or texts you want to restore to the phone. Next, navigate to the settings menu, turn on the iCloud and turn "Text Messages" off. A pop-up will appear - click ‘Keep on My iPhone.’ 

Now you can turn "Text Messages" back on in the settings menu. Click ‘Merge,’ and the messages you selected from the iCloud will start to appear (again, this takes a few minutes).


Third-Party Apps

There are a few third-party apps that can recover deleted iPhone data. Some cost money, which is why this option is less attractive than just recovering a backup from iTunes. But if an app is your only option, we have a couple of recommendations.

WonderSahre is a nice piece of data recovery software, compatible with several devices. It recovers just about everything from lost pictures and videos to voicemails and SMS messages. Also recommended is iMobie PhoneRescue, which can recover 22 different file types. 

Lost or deleted text messages aren't usually a problem, but when you do need to get something back, you'll be glad you prepared your data storage practices ahead of time. Deleting old text messages should be a normal part of your iPhone’s maintenance, and is a good way to free up space. Equally, backing up the phone's data regularly should form a key part of your regular maintenance if you want to bid a permanent goodbye to the irritation of lost information.

September 28, 2015

Short Messaging Service as a Short Story Service?


People already read books and stories on their Kindles and assorted tablets, but what about reading fiction on a phone? Hooked is a new fiction app for those who always wished they could read a story on a smaller device, such as a—wait for it—smartphone. 

Hooked is the tech baby of husband-and-wife team Parag Chordia and Prerna Gupta. Chordia and Gupta are the people behind Telepathic, a brand-new startup that has so far raised $1.2 million in new funding, bringing its total to $1.9 million. Investors include Greylock, 500 Startups, and angel investors such as Doug Feirstein of Hired and Rick Marini of BranchOut. Gupta and Chordia have previously collaborated on Khush, the app development platform resulting in Songify. It was acquired by competitor Smule in 2011.


Benefits of the Technology 

Gupta touts Hooked as “Twitter for fiction,” though the app has already been likened to a mobile-first version of Wattpad. Hooked is a free app providing a free story every day, with unlimited access available via a $2.99 per week subscription. All fiction found within Hooked is original and comes to the user in dialogue form, just as with text messages. Future Hooked incarnations will include the ability to follow favorite authors and give users the chance to post their own stories.  

"Our whole goal is to have the reader go through an entire narrative arc in five minutes and consume it in a way that's native to mobile," says Gupta. "The idea of telling a story through dialogue is not new. There's actually a long tradition of epistolary literature. Bram Stoker's Dracula, which is one of my favorite books, is told as letters back and forth between the two main characters. And scripts are primarily dialogue." 

Gupta and Chordia aren’t resting on their proverbial laurels. After taking a year to travel, the creative couple started working on a sci-fi novel called The Starlings, which takes place in the Silicon Valley 100 years from now. Writing the novel provided Gupta and Chordia with the perspective they needed in regards to the “business of fiction.”  

“The idea was if we were going to spend our time doing this, we want to give ourselves the best shot at reaching a mass audience—reaching the kind of scale that we've reached with our apps, previously," Gupta says. "So the more we looked into how good books are identified, how they're distributed and monetized, we realized there was a lot of scope for innovation in fiction." 

Gupta also notes that 80 percent of young adult readers utilize digital devices. Add that to the fact that 85 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 own a smartphone and you’ve got a great platform for story apps.  

“The way that we consume fiction today, you read five minutes here, 10 minutes there, you're on the go, it's easy to lose your place,” she says. “So this idea of a book that's 100,000 words, that's sort of this wall of text that's presented on a small screen, it felt like there was a way to rethink that from the perspective of a mobile app developer."


September 26, 2015

Are Canadian Banks Mobile Ready?


According to a new report from CenturyLink entitled Banks: Customers Expect That You’re Always On and Available, Are You Ready?, 40 percent of Canadian banking executives say they do not have the IT infrastructure required to meet customers’ core banking service needs.  

“To stay competitive in a technology-driven marketplace, Canadian banks must be both financial institutions and mobile technology innovators,” said Roji Oommen, managing director of financial services at CenturyLink. “Given that many of these banks don’t believe they have the infrastructure in place to fully embrace mobile technology, strategic technology partners like CenturyLink can help identify and integrate the right IT and mobile technology solutions.”

The CenturyLink report notes that 26 percent of Canadians use mobile banking, which is up five percent from 2010. Much like Americans, Canadians now expect secure, round-the-clock solutions for their banking needs, making the call for mobile banking options greater than ever. 


Challenges for Banks

However, Canadian banks are struggling to meet these demands. Even the biggest names in Canadian banking note the pressure they feel to “get their products to market quickly,” and that their new tech-based competitors are “a disruptive force.” They still list digital customer service as a top priority, though they feel they lack the resources to make mobile payments and similar services happen quickly. In addition to the more than one-third of C-suite executives who say they don’t have the IT infrastructure they need to meet customer expectations, nearly 70 percent say they don’t have the infrastructure for digital channels, or the means to improve them. 

Canadian banks subsequently need not only to work with current mobile trends, but also to plan for the future. The future of mobile banking solutions, according to CenturyLink, is all about mobile-first applications that personalize the consumer experience. Most Canadians own at least one mobile device, and are very Internet happy, as they clock around 45 hours of usage per person per month. As of 2012, over 6.7 million Canadians pay their bills online. 

Despite widespread mobile use among Canadians, security issues still loom. Many older Canadians pay with cash due to perceived security threats, however use of cash is diminishing among Canadians of all ages.  

So how can Canadian banks provide customers with the mobile options they need and compete on a global scale? Outsourcing IT infrastructure is one solution currently being considered by banking executives. Ensuring mobile banking solutions are completely secure is another. Mobile banking is hardly a trend; rather it’s something that’s absolutely here to stay. Canadian banks must work with technology partners to make certain they go forward instead of remaining stagnant.

September 22, 2015

Making Mobile Banking Less Risky


The world of work has undergone some radical changes over the last decade. Businesses have offices and employees scattered all over the globe; meetings take place via optic cables and tablet screens. The very notion of a ‘headquarters’, where all the important stuff happens, seems anachronistic in 2015. 

One of the key concerns for this diffuse employment culture is ensuring the security of financial transactions conducted over wireless mobile networks. There are a few ways to do this, each with their own advantages and drawbacks:


SMS Messaging

SMS has changed the banking industry inside and out, enhancing customer service and improving internal communications in a secure, reliable way. According to research by OpenMarket and International Data Corp (IDC), almost 90% of financial services companies believe mobile messaging has had a positive impact on the user experience, and 73% see text messages as an effective way to communicate with employees. 

SMS’ secret weapon is two-factor authentication (2FA), which drastically reduces the risk of fraudulent activity on an account. Even with 2FA in place, most financial organizations send notifications regarding high-dollar, high-risk transactions. 

The benefits of mobile banking go further than security (though, clearly, that’s the priority for both customer and bank). One in five financial services companies are using mobile messaging to ensure business continuity and enhance multichannel capacity, and one in four use it to improve risk mitigation (according to the IDC study). More than a third of banks use SMS to attract new business and improve retention rates for existing customers. 



Face, voice and fingerprint biometrics are making headway into finance security management. Facial recognition usually requires users to look at a screen and blink when prompted; for voice recognition, they read a short phrase.  

The simplicity of these actions is significant. It means biometrics and mobile messaging needn’t be mutually exclusive for the sake of convenience - they can work together to create a multi-factor authentication process that enhances security. Add to that the security of a password-restricted biometrics app, contained on the mobile device of the user, and you have a pretty tight ship.


Behavioral Biometrics

Even newer and shinier than physical biometrics is the concept of behavioral biometrics. It works by monitoring session behavior in desktop, mobile and cloud apps and creating a unique profile that draws on physiological data such as palm size and swipe and press patterns, as well as behavioral traits like usage preference and location habits. 

A number of behavioral biometrics systems are being developed for use by banks. Clearly, these additional layers of risk analysis and security can help protect customers - even across multiple devices - and provide a more frictionless experience at the same time.

This is all good news for mobile banking, which is already used by around half of customers at the main U.S. banks. Passwords are still expected by users, so are unlikely to disappear from view any time soon. Behavioral and physical biometrics are beginning to run alongside traditional log in data as a secondary line of defense, continually tracking the online tendencies of users to build an accurate picture and identify cyber security risks more quickly. The beauty of biometrics for the user is that there’s no need to download software or endure long sign up processes. All they have to do is, literally, be themselves.


September 13, 2015

8 Apps to Get You Through NY Fashion Week


“There’s an app for that.”  

These words now apply to the fashion industry, with numerous apps cropping up to help fashion addicts get more of what they love. Let’s look at a few of the many nifty apps to take full advantage of during New York Fashion Week


Fashion’s Night Out

Fashion’s Night Out is an app from Vogue that makes it easy to decide which fashion-tastic after-party to attend while enjoying the famous New York event. The app customizes recommendations based on your favorite stores as well as your current location so you get where you need to go without walking a long distance in high heels, or missing shindigs featuring favorite duds. 



Milk is one of New York Fashion Week’s premier hosts, and created a companion app to help you navigate the ins and outs of the runway. The app streams images of models as they saunter down said runway, and can sync with the show you’re attending by listening to the room’s audio. Interesting... and a tad creepy?


Lifebooker App 

Lifebooker’s super-cool app is a great thing to have during fashion week, as it provides access to fantastic discounts on manicures, facials, and haircuts. It also offers discounts on local restaurants and entertainment options so you can make it a (relatively) inexpensive evening out. 



If you’ve been fascinated with runway models since the heyday of Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell, you’ll love Modelinia. The app gives access to model “stats” as well as their coolest beauty, travel, and fashion tips.  



Svpply is likened to “polyvore for grown-ups,” as it’s a wishlist creation platform that’s also an app. It allows you to follow new products available through most-favorite stores and organize wishlists by category—up to 30 categories, to be exact.


AHA Life 

Want to “shop the world’s most unique designers and artisans” via mobile device? AHA Life is the app for you. It makes it possible to shop over 1,000 designers and artisans in more than 45 countries, and is curated by Tim Gunn and the one and only Diane Von Furstenberg. Find favorite fashions, as well as foods, purses and wallets, books, headphones, and a slew of other great items.



Hailed as “the Instagram of fashion,” Trendabi gives users the opportunity to share pictures of their most style-tastic outfits and tag them according to the store, label, or price. Comment and like favorite ensembles, and get inspiration for new looks. 



Looking to do a bit of urban streetwear blog-consolidating? ChicFeed does the work for you by providing a feed of the latest Fashion Week streetwear images. 


September 11, 2015

Make the Most of Grandparents Day



The ultimate sleeper holiday for savvy marketers, Grandparents Day (September 13th) is somewhat overlooked, slipping under the radar less than a week after Labor Day. 

Why don’t more businesses capitalize on it? After all, who are we talking about here? A significant portion of grandparents are Baby Boomers, the generation with 70% of the disposable income in the United States (according to The generation representing 35% of the population, with spending power projected to reach $15 trillion by the decade’s end.  

For marketers, this is the grandmother-lode. Not only do Baby Boomers have the money and inclination to spend it, they’re easier to reach than many people assume. Daily, 71% of Boomers spend time online daily. More than half are on Facebook, and two thirds regularly use SMS messaging. When it comes to mobile marketing tactics, that about covers all the bases. 

What’s interesting about this spending power is how it’s wielded. We already know that children are influencers and parents are buyers. Grandparents have double the number of generations beneath them, buying for their children and - even more lavishly - for their children’s children. Boomers spend $52 billion on their grandchildren before they’ve even got round to buying for themselves (and get around to it they do!). Clearly, we should be focusing much more attention on Grandparents Day. Let’s consider Boomer spending in two distinct forms: for themselves, and for their descendants…


Spending on Themselves

Baby Boomers are probably the wealthiest generation in history - and they’re not afraid to spend their hard-earned cash. Over the past year, 36% of Boomers have attended at least one sporting event; 22% went to the theater; 14% visited an art museum; 12% went to a rock concert. They’re also 11% more likely than the rest of the adult population to have eaten at a steakhouse or seafood restaurant in the last month. Apparently. Add to that the increased spending on holidays, cars and other forms of entertainment, and you have a pretty lucrative market.


Spending on Their Kids… and their Kids’ Kids

Tapping into the grandparent/grandchild relationship is the smart move for marketers. Get Boomers excited about mobile apps - they’re quick and easy to purchase, and the grandkids will probably prefer it to traditional toys. Use social media to differentiate the desires of children of all ages.

Remember, Baby Boomers are a lot more tech savvy than you might think. Furthermore, they know their grandkids are digital natives, and they want to engage with them on a technological level. They have the money to spend on themselves and their offspring, so why not devise a mobile marketing campaign that encourages cross-generational engagement? Happy Grandparents Day!

September 07, 2015

Avoid These Common Mobile App Marketing Mistakes


Mobile apps have taken the world by storm.  A recent study cited in Forbes estimates that by 2017, 87 percent of all connectable devices sold will be mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Companies that aren’t marketing on mobile are missing out, however companies that market badly on mobile networks are simply wasting their energy.

Here are some of the most common mobile app marketing mistakes and the top ways to avoid them:


Using the same marketing strategies you’ve always used.

Mobile is not your traditional media, and it doesn’t mesh well with traditional marketing strategies, according to a recent white paper by Fiksu. Traditional marketing often fails to resonate with mobile-first audiences, who are increasingly younger groups with a keen sense of their likes, dislikes, and desires.

In order to avoid this mistake, don’t market for a broad audience. Instead, leverage data-driven marketing tools to put specific messages in front of specific audiences.  Then, give audiences a way to interact, such as by downloading a free item, playing a game, or clicking a link to learn more.


Assuming you can simply transfer the desktop experience to mobile.

Mobile users are, by definition, on the go. Meanwhile, a desktop website or app rarely translates well to the smaller touchscreen format of mobile devices.  A “mobile” site that simply recreates the regular site, but at one-eighth the size, is likely to be baffling, un-navigable, and take too long to load. Any one of these will cause a user to click away quickly.

Instead, a recent article in Kissmetrics recommends crafting a mobile-specific version of your desktop site. Aim for something that will load in three seconds or less, has a few easy-to-read menus, and puts the essential message of your brand front and center.


Failing to tailor content to mobile messaging.

Whether you choose an app, a mobile site, SMS messaging, or all three, you should tailor your content to meet your specific goals. For instance, to send a link to users, make sure the link fits well into a text message or email, and then make sure that the content it links to works on all devices.  


Building an app without promoting it.

Over half a million apps currently exist, according to one Entrepreneur article, and more are created every day.  Without a plan for promoting your business’s app, even the most carefully designed, appealing, and easy-to-use apps will quickly get lost in the “noise.”  Before you launch the app, make sure you know how you’re going to promote it to existing customers and to new ones and follow through.


Neglecting to track and optimize marketing in real time.

Sure, millions of potential customers use mobile devices.  But how many of them are you reaching? What’s the payoff for the money and effort you’ve sunk into your mobile outreach? How could you do better?

Mobile marketing changes even more quickly than traditional marketing.  Today’s “sure thing” traffic source is tomorrow’s ghost town. To make sure your message keeps reaching your target audience, track the data and respond to the trends and patterns you see.

Engage customers, integrate networks, and decrease costs by working with a company that specializes in making mobile app marketing work for you.

September 06, 2015

Mobile Spending to Increase 160% in Three Years


The best place to be if you’re a CMO is at the forefront of a marketing trend. According to a recent survey published by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the trend ahead is more spending on mobile. 

The CMO Survey included more than 200 inquiries to top marketing agencies and professionals. Mobile spending currently floats around 6% of total marketing budgets, but is estimated to increase by 160% (to just less than 16%) over the next three years. Duke’s survey, conducted biannually, is one of the oldest dedicated exclusively to marketing. 

For CMOs across the country, the increase is easier said than done. Money can certainly buy mobile ad space, but it doesn’t guarantee returns on investment. Getting ahead of this trend means answering important questions about which mobile marketing tactics are most effective for your business.


Choosing the Best Marketing Methods 

For starters, CMOs should carefully consider the best options available to leverage both the consumer and the brand. This means assessing the target audience, developing content that articulates a benefit, maintaining continuity across all media channels, and figuring out when these targeted customers are most likely accessible and through what media channels. Master these goals and you’re headed for the promised lands; make a misstep and you might damage the brand, or worse, consumer relations. 

The survey found a large gap between the effectiveness of B2B and B2C mobile marketing, with the latter greatly outperforming the former. Both categories were addressed in various fronts including customer acquisition, engagement, retention, messaging, sales, and profits.  

Mobile marketing’s greatest strengths among these categories come as no surprise: engagement and messaging lead the pack. This makes sense as mobile marketing certainly compliments the way people intrinsically use their devices to communicate and engage with content in real time. 

Like all things that promise a big payoff, there are risks involved. One of the issues most noted in the survey is the difficulty involved in quantitatively assessing the success or failure of social media marketing. Currently, social media sites are among the most trafficked via mobile.

Today, much of the marketing done via social media is handled by a third party, so getting accurate data or analytics can be difficult, sometimes impossible depending on the platform.  

CMOs have the difficult task of weighing the risks of ambiguous social media campaigns, with pressures from board members and other higher-ups who have noted behavioral trends shifting increasingly towards mobile.

That being said, it looks like getting ahead of this mobile increase comes down to research and analysis before dollars and cents. 


September 04, 2015

MiTu Goes Mobile Following Acquisition of Video Company


On April 30, HIP Entertainment Group launched MiTu—a bilingual network that’s part of a digital multi-platform initiative aimed at capturing contemporary Latin/Hispanic millennials—on Youtube. Network executives like Beatriz Acevedo, as well as Doug Greiff, partner and chief creative officer, are looking to capitalize on a growing Latino audience as well as an increasingly mobile one. 

This month, MiTu announced the launch of it’s own technology platform that will work in unison with MiTu’s recently acquired mobile video company, Lightt. Lightt’s video platform allows users to generate unique video content, edit and share videos with other users.

According to MiTu’s website, “We reach millions every day through video and social content on more than 1,500 YouTube channels, nearly 5,000 social channels, and leading destinations for today's Latino millennials and content creators.”


What MiTu Offers 

The new technology platform will allow users to discover, upload, and manage creators and social commentary from multiple sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

The platform will also help MiTu better understand growing analytical data on the 100 million global users. With this data, MiTu will be better equipped to manage advertising and monetize content across various platforms. 

According to Roy Burstin, MiTú's CEO, “…Our expanded technology ecosystem... gives us the ability to offer a data-driven approach to both our influencers and our brand and media partners.” 

The partnerships he’s referring to include Discovery, Spanish-language network Televisa, AOL, and Univision as well as brands like Microsoft, Pepsi, Bud Light, and Ford.

It’s an empowering sentiment that MiTu sees a value in proliferating Latino/Hispanic content to this underrepresented group in popular media. Developing the technology platform and increasing the visibility of these content creators and social influences will hopefully allow their voices to be more equally represented in the democratic space of online content. 

Alex Mostoufi, MiTu’s chief technology officer and founder of Lightt, said the users are highly creative and engaged in media creation. 

“We are building a platform that is truly state-of-the-art in digital media," he added.

On the other hand, the smarter these analytical tools get while spreading user-generated content, the more accessible this market will become to advertisers and other marketing schemes across emerging mobile platforms.

So while it’s terrific to empower the underrepresented, it’s likely not in the best interest of those it seeks to represent—Mitu likely serves a different master in the market economy.